May 23, 2013

Overhanging dark storm cloud.

Copyright 2013 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Last night as I was doing some work, it was fixing to storm-the sky was darkening and the thunder was starting to roll.  It made me think about Moore, Oklahoma and the fact that it is just over a year since Joplin, Missouri.

Contrasting clouds at the beginning of a storm.

Copyright 2013 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Last night’s storm was not even anywhere remotely close to what happened in Oklahoma and so this is absolutely not a comparison.  It was not even a particularly robust thunderstorm:  a bit of lightning, and a bit of rain.  No big deal.  Dodger, the cat, hid, but she always does that when there are storms, so it is certainly a matter of perspective.  She is small and had what must have been quite an unsettling younger kittenhood.  And so it is with storms.  Having a mile-wide funnel cloud with 200+ mph winds is unimaginable. I have been through several Category 1 hurricanes (and am extremely fortunate to have only lost a few trees in these), but they do not bring the same degree of awe and terror that does a tornado, let alone an F5 storm.  I would perhaps feel much differently had I actually been in New Orleans during Katrina, but I wasn’t.  Walking through the Lower Nine and seeing the damage that remained over three years later was sobering, though. Dispassionately, there is a difference between the physical damage wrought by Katrina and that in Moore and Joplin.  Those tornadoes wiped the slate.

Emotionally, though, there is no scale for pain and loss; no real manner of gauging who should feel what under which conditions.  (That statement is not exactly right-The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders does provide standards by which to measure and diagnose the toll exacted under such circumstances.)  As appears to be human nature, we attempt to qualify and quantify, and thereby gain some measure of understanding of the human condition.  Statistics and signs and symptoms are a way to do this, however, reducing such things to a number or label can also mask the deeply personal suffering experienced by the survivors.

Sincere condolences to all who have suffered loses and a wish for recovery.

Take care.


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